What a wonderful day it was. Our open house and re-dedication on Sunday, August 17 was an exciting and emotional event for our church. The church was filled and there were a number of special guests. Bishop Michael Last brought greetings and good wishes from the Western Iowa Synod. Also present were fire fighters representing the five fire departments who saved our church. They presented us with a picture in commemoration of our restoration. The fire fighters received applause and our thanks for their efforts.
During the re-dedication service we heard the 9-1-1 calls from August 9, 2007, which reminded us of that fateful day. We also saw a video presentation (put together by Caitlin Andersen) which was a vivid reminder of how much we lost on that day, and how far we have come in a year. Because of the efforts of so many people, we have a beautiful and functional church that has been fully restored.
So what now? That’s the question Bishop Last asked all of us. Through the efforts of many dedicated people and through the blessing of our Lord and God our church was saved. But for what purpose? From the ashes of a fire, a new church has burst forth. But as Bishop Last asked, “what do we do now?” It is a question each of us must ask ourselves.
Just as the little town of Bethlehem brought Jesus into the world, Bethlehem Lutheran Church must bring Jesus into our communities and to our people. Hopefully, the re-dedication of our church will help us to re-dedicate our lives to the mission of our church. For I believe our church was saved so we could bring people to Jesus.
Your friend in Christ,